About this Research Topic
Rabies is a zoonotic endemic disease in most African and Asian countries, with one of the highest lethality rates amongst infectious diseases. An estimated 60 000 annual human deaths are by the large majority caused by dog bites. The control of rabies through mass dog vaccination is a proven principle, which is key to the goal "0 by 30" striving to eliminate dog transmitted human rabies by 2030, manifested in the Global Strategic Plan (GSP) by the United Against Rabies Coalition.
Once again and to an unprecedented extent, the Covid-19 pandemia has made clear how intertwined and interdependent animal and human health are in a global system marked by international travel and trade. The One Health approach has lately been lifted up on the highest level of the political global health agenda. However, One Health approaches have proven to contribute to resilient communities and health systems in the absence of a pandemic as well. In the case of rabies, the necessity of collaboration between animal and human sectors has been an evidence for many years. Rabies experts have been advocating for integrating a One Health approach in surveillance, control and elimination efforts even before this concept was taken up by international organizations . Intersectoral collaboration is a central aspect of the GSP towards elimination of dog-mediated human rabies, not only as a key to successful elimination strategies, but having also demonstrated economic savings.
One Health should not only operate at the direct host-agent interface of a zoonosis, but should also take into account environmental, sociologic, and (geo)political aspects in order to address a veterinary public health problem in an integrated and systemic way. Canine rabies may, in addition, have impacts on the ecosystem, mainly through spill over to vulnerable wildlife populations. Considering the different disciplines and possible interfaces is not only relevant for combatting rabies, but likewise for other endemic zoonotic diseases, such as brucellosis, Q fever or bovine tuberculosis– all of these diseases impacting many lives daily without receiving the necessary attention and resources for their effective control. Using rabies interventions to tackle other human or animal health issues alongside (or the other way round) in "integrated control packages" seems economically and logistically beneficial, but can be difficult to be put into practice, especially when human and animal health programs operate in silos.
In this context, we aim to collect publications that report on experiences, innovative approaches and visions for reaching the “0 by 30” goal for the elimination of dog mediated human rabies. Contributions to the topic can be case studies, modelling approaches, surveillance updates, perspective pieces, example success stories, or also descriptions of gaps and failures of rabies elimination efforts on local, national, regional and global level.
Examples of papers to be published in this Research Topic include:
• Recent development of strategic steps, operational plans and technical tools towards the 0 by 30 goal;
• Innovative studies showing the impact of community and policy engagement and socio-cultural aspects;
• Examples of integration of rabies programs
a) with human/animal health approaches or programs, including those targeting the environment and wildlife conservation;
b) further canine programs targeting besides rabies (e.g. cystic echinococcosis, leishmaniasis, distemper, intestinal parasites…)
• Visions, needs assessments, innovations and perspectives for the coming 10 years of rabies control towards the 0 by 30 goal;
• Examples of collaboration among countries/cross border collaborations;
• Impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on rabies (also linked to other zoonoses) surveillance and control efforts
a) where continuity and sustainability were affected through shifting focus and resources, but also
b) where new potential and opportunities for integration under One Health opened up
We would like to acknowledge Matthew Muturi, Kathrin Heitz-Tokpa, Stephanie Mauti and Frank Busch who have contributed to the preparation of the proposal for this Research Topic and who will act as Research Topic Coordinators.
Keywords: One Health, Rabies, 0 by 30, Zoonotic
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.